USC Aiken Women Lose PBC Opener At Georgia College

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – The University of South Carolina Aiken women’s basketball team lost a 56-54 decision at Georgia College in the Peach Belt Conference opener for both teams Wednesday morning.

The Pacers are now 5-5 on the season and 0-1 against league foes. The Bobcats are 9-1 overall and 1-0 against conference opponents.

In the rare mid-morning game,Kassy Johannsen led the way with 10 points and six rebounds.Alexis Ware came off the bench to account for 10 markers while Aubrey Lukackso poured in a career-high nine points on three shots from downtown.

Rachelle Aupont totaled eight points and nine rebounds while Mariah Durian contributed eight points and eight boards.

Stephanie Ball registered seven points, seven assists and six rebounds in the contest.

With her three blocks, Johannsen soared into first place on the USC Aiken career blocked shots list in the Division II era. She now has 138 in her three-plus seasons, surpassing Morgan Johnson’s 136.

Head coach Mike Brandt’s team trailed by two at the end of the first quarter, but went on a 17-11 spurt spanning the second frame to take a 26-22 lead into intermission.

Ware started off the second stanza with a three-point shot, sparking an 8-2 run by the visitors. Durian canned a three-pointer and after a jumper by the home squad, Durian netted back-to-back charity tosses for a 17-13 advantage.

Although the Bobcats took an 18-17 lead, Ball answered with a three-point basket. After a lay-up by Georgia College, Aupont netted a lay-up for a 22-20 advantage. Aupont drained a fade-away three-pointer with 65 seconds to play in the half and Ware’s free throw pushed the score to 26-20, but the Bobcats answered with a jumper as the clock neared 0:00.

A 5-0 spurt by the Pacers thanks in part to a three-pointer by Ball and a lay-up from Johannsen made it 33-28 with 6:44 to play in the third frame. However, the Bobcats answered with an 11-3 run to close out the quarter.

USC Aiken tied the game twice in the final stanza on three-point shots from Lukackso, but an 8-0 spurt by the Bobcats made it 52-44 with 4:49 to play.

Ware made back-to-back three-pointers and a free throw by Ball made it 54-51 with 1:59 to go. Neither team could find the bottom of the net until the home squad hit a jumper with 11 ticks remaining in the game. Aupont canned a three-pointer with four seconds to play, but USC Aiken could get no closer.

The Pacers return to action Saturday when they travel to Columbus State for a 1:30 p.m., contest. Live stats and video will be available on PacerSports.com.

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